Pectin-Commercal or Homemade

Canning season has certainly started here on the farm, I tend to can all year long but the push is always late spring to late fall, I typically pick up supplies in the fall when they go on sale and so tend to ahead of the game by about half a year normally on most things a min.

One of the things I tend to stock up on is Pectin, but with a full winter of processing behind me, my stock is getting lower, and so while I was getting some good deals in town today I thought I might pick up another dozen box’s and almost fell over in shock!! The price locally has more then just slightly doubled in price per box.. I went to all three stores in town, picking up their loss leaders and they were all the same.. ouch!  and double OUCH, I stood in the row at the cheapest store and glared at that price and then looked at my hubby and said.. GREAT, one more thing to add to my to do list this year.. While I will certainly look for this to go on sale (hopefully to the price I paid last year), I will be making alot more of my own homemade pectin.

Now I have a couple different sourse locally available to me from the farm itself.

  • Crabapples
  • Apples
  • Gooseberries
  • Currents

Sources available off the farm but locally wild harvested, are apples and crabapples, and non-local sourses would be lemon and limes from the store.

While I normally make small amount of apple pectin for later use(while I am making my apple sauce) it would appear this year, I will be needing to plan for making a whole lot more and canning it for later use. I will have to some research and see if there is anything else that can be added to those lists.

Do you make homemade pectin? Have you seen a price increase on this product in your area? Are you aware of anything else that has a very high pectin count for use in jam’s or jellies?



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6 Responses to Pectin-Commercal or Homemade

  1. Daisy says:

    I just finished reading Harriet Fasenfest’s book “A Householder’s Guide to the Universe”, and in it she says that when she makes blackberry jam she will partially de-seed it and boil the seeds in a small amount of water to capture the pectin then add the water and pectin back to the jam. She does mention in the recipe that additional pectin may be needed, but I think it’s interesting and maybe worth trying. Of course, I suppose if you just left the seeds in you wouldn’t need to bother. 🙂 I’ve never tried to make jam without commercial pectin, I’ve always just done what the pectin people told me to do, but I’m thinking I’m going to try raspberry and blackberry this year using Harriet’s method and see how it goes.

    • Hi Daisy

      Thanks for the info, will give it a try, if you are trying for homemade pectin for the first time, I would recommend considering starting with the easy way using apples in the recipes, and to be aware that you normally get a much softer set on your jams and jellies then you do with commercial pectin.

  2. Cynthia says:

    I’ve been saving lemon rinds and seeds in my freezer after I juice lemons….you can add the chopped rinds to your pectin mixture…last year I put up come pectin stock for jelly, and I use a pectin rich “sauce” (chopped up apples and lemons put through a food mill) for jam.

    Here’s how:

  3. Sheri says:

    Many years ago people did not use pectin, they were called “preserves”. I’ve read many early American recipes and never have found pectin as an ingredient. Making true preserves is a matter of “time” and we got in such a rush about everything. An old Germany woman I met never used pectin. She used only tapioca to thicken her fruits. Before cooking the fruit pre-soak the tapioca until hydrated and fully expanded(you never want to pour it dry into your cooking fruit). Prepare fruit and cook it covered on a low setting to bring up the fruits natural liquid. Cook this liquid down slowly. After it’s cooked down and thicker then add the sugar, tapioca & lemon juice or zest. Bring up the heat, stirring constantly until it starts to set on the spoon. When done put into half pint sized canning jars and submerge into boiling bath. *Note: Refrigerate before using. The cold of refrigeration helps to thicken the fruit more like jam. I’ve heard of people using cornstarch to thicken jam and tried it once but because I had nothing to go by I put in to much corn starch and it got too thick.
    When I get into a huge apple harvest I make a very thick apple juice from all my spent apple peels at canning time. It’s the natural fruit “fats” that make pectin. I can this up by the quart and keep it in the pantry to use when I prepare rhubarb/strawberry and other berry jams. I hope this helps you.

    • Hi Sherri, some great advice in here, just a note on the cornstarch, that is not recommended for safety in regards to canning per the goverement, in my family we always used rhubarb to thicken in the spring, cooked till thick butters in the summer and used apples it the fall. but it does very much change the textures of the jam and jellies.

      • Sheri says:

        Thank you for the update information on the cornstarch and the use of rhubarb to thicken. I also like to “peel” my rhubarb before using. Like celery, it has strings and as it grows it makes a bit tougher outer skin. I just use a small sharp knife and “strip” the stalks. It also makes it easier to cut it into smaller pieces. I guess it would be good to hold back watering before harvesting? I try not to add any water to my fruits preferring it’s own juices and I try not to overcook the fruit to get it to thicken. Cheers!

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